Alan Rickman, best known for his roles in the Harry Potter films and Die Hard, has died aged 69.
The much-loved British actor first shot to stardom in 1988 when he played Hans Gruber, Bruce Willis's adversary, in Die Hard.
He gained legions of fans for his role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.
A family statement said: "The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends."
Rickman's death comes just months ahead of the release of a new film called Eye In The Sky in which he stars alongside Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul.
The thriller is set to open in UK cinemas on April 8, according to IMDb.
And the star had also completed another film set for release later this year called Alice Through The Looking Glass.
Just last year he revealed he had married his high school sweetheart after 50 years together.
Rickman had been in a relationship with Rima Horton since they met when he was 19 and she was 18.
The pair had been living together in London for 50 years, and Rickman revealed to German newspaper Bild last April that they recently tied the knot in secret.
Asked what the secret of his successful relationship was, though they were not married, he replied: ''We are married, just recently."
He added: "It was great because no one was there. After the wedding in New York, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and ate lunch."